The story of my second great-grandfather Crist Hayes Carrico is a very sad one indeed. Once a prominant civil engineer employed by the railroads, Crist Carrico died a grisly death on a dark and lonely country road.
His once-respected life had devolved into that of the “town drunk”, a lost soul.
At the time of his death, Crist Carrico was divorced from my second great-grandmother and estranged from his only child, my great-grandmother Marie Stanley. When I began my genealogical research, my aunt tossed this photo onto my notebook and when I asked who this very distinguished-looking gentleman was, she stated, “That’s MaMaw Stanley’s father.” When I asked more about him, she said he died in New Mexico…and that was it. Basically, he was a non-person to our family.
But I was immediately intrigued. What could this man have possibly done that was so bad that, in the eyes of my family, he essentially never existed to begin with?
Well, after a few years of looking and the aid of a wonderful RAOGK (Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness) volunteer, I had a few answers:
- Crist Hays Carrico was never accepted by his in-laws. Apparently he was never “good enough” for the daughter of a highly-respected local surgeon and Civil War veteran.
- He divorced the daughter of said highly-respected local surgeon and Civil War veteran.
- He became the “town drunk” and died a horrible death, directly related to alcoholism:
When I received these newspaper clippings, I tried to get Crist Carrico’s death certificate. It was apprently misfiled somewhere, as I have been unable to locate it at either the local or the state archives.
Recently, the FamilySearch Record Search site added the New Mexico Death Records 1889-1945 collection to its site. And here is Crist Carrico’s record:
Name: Crist Hollah Carrico
Titles & Terms – Prefix(standardized):
Death date: 01 Aug 1941
Death place: Hobbs, Lea, New Mexico
Race or color (on document):
Race or color (expanded):
Age in years: 68
Estimated birth year: 1873
Spouse’s name: Hattie Mais
Spouse’s Titles & Terms – Prefix(standardized):
Father’s Titles & Terms – Prefix(standardized):
Mother’s Titles & Terms – Prefix(standardized):
Film number: 1913313
Reference number: 3336
Collection: New Mexico Death Records, 1889 – 1945
Not much detail, and maybe whoever created this index was a drinking buddy of my second great-grandfather (just kidding :) , since the name was misspelled!)
My point is: first the index, later the actual images… maybe someday soon I will have Crist Hays Carrico’s death certificate!